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A Willow In Wolf's Clothing

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Summary: Willow transfers to Washington University at St. Louis to get away from things that go bump in the night. Too bad for her that things go bump in the night in St. Louis too. Willow/Richard

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: RichardCarolFR153138,7541035100,4123 Jan 0328 Jan 03Yes

Getting to know the Ulfric

Chapter 14

Willow uncurled herself from her sleeping position. She felt so

much better for the nap. She wondered what the guys were up to.

She hopped off the bed and put on her sneakers. She left her cabin

in what she hoped was the right direction towards Richard's.

Logically they would be there.

She knocked on the door and called out. "It's Willow. Can I

come in?" She heard a muffled reply and took that as an

affirmative. She walked right into the cabin. She was greeted by a

wonderful sight.

Richard was walking out of his bathroom clad in nothing but a pair

of tight-fitting blue jeans. His long brown hair curled wetly

against his neck and shoulders. Water droplets slowly slid from his

hair down his very well-toned body. Oh, to be that water droplet.

Willow gave a mental sigh. She realized she was ogling and blushed

slightly. Richard gave a knowing smile of his own. She was so


She decided that a distraction was in order. "So, what have you

been up to while was in the land of Nod?" She gave him a big

smile and plopped down on his bed. "Where did Tweedle Dee and

Tweedle Da go to?"

Richard took a flannel shirt out of his suitcase. He looked at

Willow with a questioning glance. "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle


Willow gave an evil smile. "The bodyguard bookends, Jamil and

Shang-Da, shouldn't they be here body-guarding and such?" She

waved her hand around in a regal manner to emphasize her point.

Richard smiled at that. "They are securing the perimeter and

such. I wouldn't call them that if I was you. I'm not sure

if Shang-Da has a sense of humor." He finished buttoning up his

shirt. Willow was sad to see that chest disappear.

"So, what were you up to while I was out for the count?"

Willow enquired. She didn't get to spend time alone with the

Ulfric. This was an opportunity to find out what goes on in the

mind of an especially yummy specimen.

Richard sat down next to Willow with a sigh. "I was just

pondering the last time I was here."

Willow tried not to think too much about the fact that Richard was

only inches away from her. "I heard what you said to Verne. I

assumed something of the bad happened last time you visited."

Richard gave a nod. "You could say that. Last time, I was here

I got thrown in jail on false charges. Anita had to come and get me

out. And where Anita goes, trouble always follows."

Willow gave a nod of her own. "Yeah, I get that. She has a lot

of chaotic energy around her." She looked over at Richard.

"Why were you here in Myerton? Visiting friends?"

"Not exactly. I was finishing up my Masters degree with field

research on the Lesser Smokey Mountain Troll."

Willow interrupted, "I thought they were extinct."

"No, that's the Greater Smokey Mountain Troll. The ones I

was studying are a protected species. They're harmless to


Willow looked perplexed. "Why would you get thrown in jail for


Richard's eyes clouded over. He must be thinking of all that had

happened. "That is a complex tale. I was also auditioning for a

replacement lupa. I was dating several women. One of them falsely

accused me of rape. She had gotten paid off by this eccentric

millionaire that wanted to discredit me. The millionaire wanted the

land that the trolls were living on. I was an obstacle to that


Willow laid a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Well, with you

being free and all, I would assume that everything worked out okay

in the end."

Richard shrugged his shoulders. "Yes, it worked out but not

without a lot of bloodshed."

Willow gave him a small comforting smile. "We live in a violent

world. It is just the way of things." She didn't like

seeing anyone sad. Maybe she could make him smile. "So,

you've been playing the Dating Game for a while then?"

"Yup, I have to. The pack needs a lupa. It is hard to find a

woman that wants me for something besides being ulfric."

"Aw, come on! I'm sure there are plenty of women out there

that are just interested in you for your body." When she

realized what she had said, she slapped a hand over her mouth. She

turned a brilliant shade of red to match her hair.

Richard gave out a chuckle. "Thanks for the words of

encouragement." He gave her a toe-curling big smile.

Willow wanted to melt right there. "Sorry, my mouth gets away

from me. I'm in a constant state of embarrassment. I'm

surprised I'm not permanently blushed."

Richard leaned in towards Willow. "I think your blushing is

endearing." He raised a hand to her face and traced the curve of

her cheek. Willow managed to only lean in a little into the

caress. She was completely in control. The hormones were not in

charge of this situation. `Who Am I kidding?' she thought.

The intimate moment was spoiled with a knocking at the cabin door.

Richard stood up and went to the door. Jamil called out to say that

it was him with company. Richard opened the door. Jamil came in

followed by Verne and a woman.

The woman that followed Verne had a presence about her. She seemed

to radiate a calming aura to everyone that surrounded her. She had

long pale silver blond hair. Willow liked her immediately. She was

kind. Willow could tell.

The woman gave Richard a hug. "It is good to see you again."

She then turned and faced Willow. "And you must be my new pupil,

Willow. I'm Marianne. I'm Oak Tree clan's vargamor."

Willow gave Marianne a tentative smile. "Not to sound ignorant

or anything but what is a vargamor?"

Willow was rewarded with a kindly smile from Marianne. "No, that

is entirely fine to ask. Many clans no longer fill that position.

A vargamor is the pack's wise woman. A guide if you will.

Usually the position is held by a human witch."

"I'm a witch."

Marianne nodded at her. "Yes, I can tell. It will be

interesting few days. Won't it?"

Willow hoped that Marianne would be able to help her. She needed

some sort of guidance. Dealing with spiritual possession was a

scary thought.

Verne interrupted their conversation. "Richard, I would like to

have an official welcoming ceremony in your honor. Oak Tree Clan

owes a debt to Thronnos Rokke Clan for the help you gave regarding

the vampires."

Richard nodded. "How about in a few days? We are still

unwinding from the road. We need to go and get something to eat."

Verne smiled. "Roxanne is fixing supper as we speak. You are

all invited to my house for supper."

They all walked out to their cars. Marianne rode with Verne while

Willow and the others followed in the SUV. Willow wondered what

Verne's lupa, Roxanne, would be like. Would she be as nice as

Verne and Marianne? And what of the rest of the pack. She again

lapsed into her many thoughts as they rode along the country roads.
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